Our stake presidency was released on Sunday. Honestly, a moderately difficult thing for me. I’ve very much grown to love this stake presidency, and while I’m excited for the new presidency, I do already feel that lack of familiarity from the old. Still, I did receive a witness of the legitimacy of the calling, and I will obey and sustain this new presidency.
A couple highlights from the stake conference:
President Palmer, out-going second counselor in the stake presidency said something to the effect of: “I’ve been amazed to see people come in to this stake to learn valuable lessons and be molded as the Lord would mold them and then be put to use.” He went on to say that some people are put in places in order to grow and learn and then take on roles that would benefit others. I felt a very strong witness that this is something I need to learn. I admit to feeling a bit out of place in this ward and stake. Most of the members are significantly younger than I am. Still, I do enjoy it here, and I’m grateful to be here. Just another confirmation that we are in the place the Lord wants us to be.
President Rasmussen, incoming stake president talked about strength and relying on others. He mentioned that in high school, he had been voted Most Athletic and how that perception of his life failed him when he was diagnosed just a few years later with diabetes. He talked about how he was able to turn that failure into a life-long devotion to the Lord and how that has strengthened him. As I was listening to him, the thought crossed my mind of how I would respond to a negative situation of similar or even lesser magnitude. Would I complain? Would I seek answers and understanding? Would I be patient?
President Hales, outgoing first counselor and one of my favorite speakers ever, talked about the nobility of fatherhood and priesthood leadership. He spent the majority of his brief testimony reminiscing on a brother-in-law and his devotion to his family and used several stories to help us understand the Plan of Salvation. I thought it quite interesting that many speakers, President Hales included, talked about death and death not being the end state of life. Not much specific to talk about, but the feelings seemed relevant.
Last one that stood out to me…. Elder Craig. C. Christensen told a story about a convert in England who, upon gaining a testimony of the Book of Mormon, sat up in bed and said, “It’s true! Oh no, it’s true!!!” Her comment was in reference to the responsibility and weight that such knowledge brings to her and us and the commitment that should instill in us. Elder Christensen challenged us to be so committed that no matter the task or requirements, we’d be faithful and willing to obey. He then talked about Joseph Smith and how you could sum up the grand total of his life in two simple words: I obeyed.
I love conference–General, Stake, Ward… It doesn’t matter. I love conference. As luck would have it, Fall is the best conference time for me. Stake conference in September. General conference in October. Ward conference, generally, in November. Even better, we have our next stake conference in January. It’s a literal spiritual feast to the point that I can hardly contain the direction and inspiration in a single place. President Eyring talked recently about how we should strive to be so close to the spirit that the direction and inspiration we receive from the Lord is too much for us to handle. A literal flood of spirit that would keep us bathed in light, truth, hope, and direction.
I find myself looking forward to the next few months with a simple, “Oh no… it’s true.”